Credit Unions’ Traditional 2 x 2 x 2 Onboarding Is 2 Long

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Jeff Rendel, CSP Photo
Rising Above Enterprises

3 minutes

Today’s onboarding process works; it just needs to work faster.

“Thanks for your order, Jayne. We’ll send you an update when it’s ready for shipping.” 

“Great news! Your order has shipped and will arrive early! Track progress with this link!” 

“Your order was delivered! How was it? Rate us here!”

These are all texts from actual orders and real customer experiences. We come across this kind of instant engagement in many retail incidents every day. A pickup order is ready. A boarding pass is now available. An Uber is arriving. You left something in your Amazon Cart. The notifications are designed to engage and produce action. They further relationships, establish connections and create sales. It’s onboarding at the speed of today’s retail consumer.

Onboarding in credit unions has traditionally followed the 2 x 2 x 2 method: two days for a welcome message; two weeks to check in on account setup; and two months to send a targeted marketing message. The process works; it just needs to work faster. As one who argues that credit unions should lead at the speed of members and be outstanding students of retail, perhaps 2 x 2 x 2 should represent “Two minutes. Two hours. Two days.”

Imagine a scenario in which a new member, in the branch and setting up an account, received a text that read: “Your debit card is ready and in your hand. Follow this link to finish setting up.” That’s two minutes after the account opening. Two hours later: “Check out these features on your new debit card,” as a link leads to card valet features and instructions. Two days later: “You’re already earning rewards with your debit card. Congratulations! More rewards are just a tap away!”

Or, a setting where a long-time member applies for a new car loan via your mobile app. Two minutes later: “You’re approved! Follow this link to e-sign your documents!” Two hours later: “Here’s all you need to take to the dealer! Download here. ABC CU has your back!” Two days later: “Nice ride! Send us a pic! And check out ways to protect those new wheels with insurance that rocks!” 

Credit Unions Compete With Retailers' Onboarding Processes

Members, also active as retail consumers, anticipate and act on this kind of support. Like it or not, credit unions are in the retail business, where expectations are high. Regardless of business, consumers’ desires remain the same: they don’t alter from retail establishment to retail establishment. Members expect you to be appreciative, committed, consultative, intuitive, personal, and simple as you expand their experience. They encounter this every day with Amazon, Apple, Chick-Fil-A, Google, Netflix and, hopefully, your credit union.

Yes, the compliance department will have a say. It always has, will and should. IT will want to ensure security, and Marketing will want to see smooth synchronization with your core and customer relationship management systems. This is real-time banking and a natural progression in the member experience. As students of retail and leaders in service, the next phase of the member experience is simpler, smarter and faster. Two months is a lifetime. Two weeks and you are last week’s news. Look for ways to serve, engage, and market to your members as well-timed partners in their fast-moving expectations of your commitment to them. 

Jeff Rendel, CSP, president of Rising Above Enterprises, works with credit unions that want entrepreneurial results in sales, service, and strategy. Each year, he addresses and facilitates for more than 100 credit unions and their business partners. Reach him at 951.340.3770. 

© 2023 by Jeff Rendel. All rights reserved.

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